Abby Martin speaks with Han Shan, spokesperson for Ecuadorian Victims of Chevron Contamination about the decades-long legal battle between oil giant, Chevron, and indigenous residents of Ecuador’s rainforest who suffered from a massive oil contamination.
Tag Archives | Amazon Rainforest
Ever get the feeling we have no idea what’s actually going on? Via Wired Science:
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Something in the Peruvian Amazon is making weird, intricate structures that resemble white picket fences surrounding an Isengard-like spire. No one has any idea who the mysterious craftsbug (fungus? spider?) is, or what the structure is even used for.
Troy Alexander, a graduate student at Georgia Tech, spotted the first of these structures on June 7. The little, seemingly woven fence was parked on the underside of a blue tarp near the Tambopata Research Center, in southeastern Peru. He later spotted three more of the bizarre enclosures on tree trunks in the jungle.
“I have no idea what made it, or even what it is,” said William Eberhard, an entomologist with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.
“I’ve seen the photo, but have no idea what animal might be responsible,” echoed Norm Platnick, curator emeritus of spiders at the American Museum of Natural History.
A jaguar in the Peruvian rain forest eating the Banisteriopsis caapi vine, one of the major constituents of the shamanic brew ayahuasca. (The jaguar seems to be affected somewhat by the vine.) To make things doubly interesting, one of the most commonly reported elements in ayahuasca visions are...jaguars! And these visions even seem to transcend cultural and geographical boundaries. Chilean psychiatrist Claudio Naranjo administered harmaline to 35 white, urban volunteers, without telling them the substance they were taking nor the expected effects. He was surprised to note that "strangely enough, tigers, leopards or jaguars were seen by seven subjects even though big cats are not seen in Chile."
Another thing to worry about while hiking through the jungle. The Smithsonian writes:
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In October 1941, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover received a strange bit of war intelligence in a classified document, warning that a secret German airbase had gone up deep in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. Particularly concerned about an attack on the Panama Canal, the FBI began collaborating with Brazil’s secret police.
In December, another worrying message came: the suspected culprits behind the scheme were a colony of German monks, [possibly] preparing for a secret base for the Luftwaffe, the airborne arm of the German military. The following July, large amounts of fuel were spotted traveling upriver in Bolivia. The FBI worried that the fuel could be headed to the secret jungle airbase, still yet to be discovered.
In the end, military leaders concluded that stockpiling enough supplies deep within the jungle would not be possible. The would-be Nazi monks were left to live their own quiet, solitary lives in nature.
It’s the evening of January 25, 2007, and I’m hosting my first Ayahuasca Monologues storytelling event to a packed room at Eyebeam Atelier in New York City. On stage, Breaking Open the Head author Daniel Pinchbeck, who semi-popularized the hallucinogenic tea ayahuasca within the spiritual counterculture, brushes aside his disheveled hair, asking in a voice barely audible from laryngitis, “How many of you here have tried ayahuasca?” Out of 220 people, only nine hands lift in the air, and they are mostly the featured storytellers (including myself) that I’ve directed for the show that night.
Cut to February 2012, and the mega-celebrity, Jennifer Aniston, best known for playing perky girl-next-door Rachel in Friends, is tipping a bowl of ayahuasca to her lips in Universal’s newest romantic comedy Wanderlust. In just a few years, the once secret “shamans brew” of the Amazon has snaked its way into the popular consciousness, including the entertainment industry with cameos in the TV shows Weeds and Nip/Tuck and now the movie Wanderlust.… Read the rest
What causes zombification? Some mixture of schizophrenia, mistaken identity, a poison powder called tetrodotoxin, and amnesia. Mind Hacks writes:
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We hear a lot about zombies these days, but many are unaware that in 1997 The Lancet published a medical study of three genuine Haitian zombies. The cases were reported by British anthropologist Roland Littlewood and Haitian doctor Chavannes Douyon and concerned three individuals identified as zombies after they had apparently passed away.
The Haitian explanation for how zombies are created involves the distinction between different elements of the human being – including the body, the gwobon anj (the animating principle) and the ti-bon anj, which represents something akin to agency, awareness, and memory.
In line with these beliefs is the fact that awareness and agency can be split off from the human being – and can be captured and stored in a bottle by a bòkò, a type of magician and spirit worker who can be paid to send curses or help individuals achieve their aims.
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The murder of an eight year old child from the Awa-Gwajá indigenous community, allegedly burnt alive by loggers in the state of Maranhão, Brazil, has caused outrage throughout the Internet, as well as disbelief by many in the face of such cruelty.
The Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI) confirmed that “suspicions indicate that an attack has occurred between September and October against the camp of isolated indigenous” of the Araribóia reserve, and added more information:
The charred body was found in October 2011 in a camp abandoned by the isolated Awá, about 20 km from the Patizal village of the Tenetehara people, a region located in the municipality of Arame (Maranhão). The National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) was informed of the incident in November and no investigation of the case is ongoing.
According to Rosimeire Diniz, CIMI’s coordinator in Maranhão state, “the situation has been reported for a long time.